President Obama during his State of the Union address last week cited a report that calls for expanded offshore drilling and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), according to a report from the Washington Free Beacon (WFB).
Considering his administration’s anti-drilling history, this comes as a bit of a shock.
The moment occurred when the president proposed establishing an “energy security trust,” citing a report by Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE).
“If a nonpartisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we,” the president said. “Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long.”
As many Blaze readers know, the Obama administration hasn’t been keen to the idea of expanded drilling.
“[T]he Department of the Interior’s latest five-year leasing plan for offshore oil development excludes the Atlantic and Pacific coast,” the WFB notes.
“The administration’s decision to open areas of the Arctic Sea for oil exploration was panned by environmentalists,” the report adds.
But here’s what the report cited by the president says:
While it remains critical to balance environmental preservation and energy extraction, [the Department of the] Interior’s current approach falls short of striking such a balance. Operating in the wake of a serious industry failure, DOI has essentially locked the nation into a Gulf-centric approach to offshore development that unnecessarily constrains access to potentially promising resources elsewhere.
Significant oil and natural gas resources on federal lands, both onshore and offshore, remain unavailable for development due to statutory restrictions and bureaucratic inertia.
“Republicans and drilling advocates say that up to 85 percent of America’s potential offshore oil remains off-limits under the administration’s plan,” the Beacon report notes.
SAFE has been working “very closely” with the Obama administration to put together the “energy trust,” SAFE spokesman Brad Goehner tells the Beacon.
“You see what we put forward as the best way to approach this, which does include revenue from expanded production,” Goehner said. ”As far as the White House plan, we’re still waiting to see all the details.”
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